May 14, 2010

Friday Finds #11

What great books did you hear about / discover this past week?
Share with us your Friday Finds!
Crown of Acorns by Catherine Fisher

A teenage girl with a past arrives in a city: new name, new identity, new foster family. She has chosen the city herself, and is fascinated by its harmony and beauty, but is clearly in fear of being discovered. She is nursing a secret from her early childhood, a secret that produces new terrors for her the moment she fears her identity has been spotted. A parallel narrative is that of a young architect's apprentice, Zak, in 1750 -- working with Jonathan Forrest, a man obsessed with past Druidic mysteries, and with a new architectural vision for the city. He plans to create the world's first circular terraced street, the King's Circus - a plan greeted with scorn and derision. But Zac soon realises there's more than just an obsession with an architectural vision; some secret associated with the building of a hidden chamber in the centre of the Circus. But Zac himself has his own confused and highly destructive agenda ...These narratives are framed by the voice of Bladud - mythical first builder of the city, destined to die in trying to fly - and ultimately brings them together in a clever and brilliant climax.

The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania's efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It's up to them to save their country.

The Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby

Grant Shongo has returned home to Canandaigua Lake, a little community where everyone knows everyone’s business—though they may pretend not to. Devastated and living in isolation after the break up of his marriage, Grant is drawn back into the world when a young man, Lion, pleas for his help in finding his missing wife, Melanie. Tongues are wagging about Melanie’s disappearance. A recovering addict, could she have had a relapse? ...Was she abducted? What, if anything, does it have to do with the death of her little brother all those years ago?
Sparks fly when Grant’s first love returns to town, but can it be trusted this time? And with the chance at enjoying life again, will Grant’s promise to Lion fall by the wayside—possibly endangering countless lives?
As the lovers reunite in a frantic search for Melanie, they discover a world where nature and the spiritual realm intertwine and nothing is as it seems. The Language of Trees examines the tremulous bonds between parents and children, lovers and friends, and human beings and their gods. It will make you believe that the spirits of those we love watch over us, that people can heal each other, and that if you can truly forgive yourself, the world will return to you all of your forgotten dreams.

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.
The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.
To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

The Devouring by Simon Holt

When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.
Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

24 Bones by Michael F. Stewart

Seth, Horus, and Osiris are reborn, fated to re-fight their greatest battle.
Samiya, an Egyptian woman, and Taggart, a Canadian professor of Comparative Religion, have nothing in common, until they find themselves on opposite sides of a bloody war for causes neither is sure they believe in.
The Balance is in jeopardy, and either The Fullness: humanity, law, and reason; or The Void: animal instinct, chaos, and death; will soon rule the world.
But which is the right side? Reason has ruled for centuries. Isn't it time for Chaos to have a chance?

The Sand Dragon by Michael F. Stewart

The discovery of an immense pterosaur skeleton lures paleontologist Kim Axon to the tar sands near her childhood home of Fort Mic. But Kim's not the only one drawn to the find's siren call, and the others are coming for a very different reason.
Fort Mic, where Kim's father was murdered long ago, is both blessed and cursed by the shadow population who gravitate to the area for cheap trailers while they mine the sands for oil. Townsfolk begin to fall sick. Fearing the spread of the strange disease, the new doctor quarantines the town.
Now alone, the broken community must rise above its past to battle outsiders who do not fear the return of an ancient evil, but worship it.  

The Hidden Stars by Madeline Howard

In a world devastated by a cataclysmic war between the wizards and mages, the Empress Ouriána has seized the throne, proclaiming herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing twelve priests to perform her rites, she rules with a tight rein of evil sorcery. The priests, once men, have become twisted with magic, making them monstrous -- mutated. They bring destruction wherever they ride, and one kingdom after another falls, enslaved into darkness.
Yet signs and portents appear, puzzling the seers, and a tale begins to grow. A rumor of a young girl, talented and hidden, who is destined to end Ouriána's tyrannous reign ... if she can survive long enough to do so. And so a brave band of wizards and heroes ride out in search of the hidden princess, pursued by the fury of the dark goddess herself.

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.
Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth's spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham's. His discovery of the "hidden player" in English politics will test Lune's loyalty and Deven's courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana's power -- find it, and break it . . . 

Doppelganger by Marie Brennan

When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger survives? Mirage, a fierce bounty hunter, lives by her wits and lethal fighting skills. She always gets her mark. But her new mission will take her into the shadowy world of witches, where her strength may be no match against magic. Miryo is a witch who has just failed her initiation test. She now knows that there is someone in the world who looks like her, who is her: Mirage. To control her powers and become a full witch, Miryo has only one choice. To hunt the hunter and destroy her.

Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path. All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa. When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion.Stenwold and Che are Beetle-kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds: Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills. Foremost is the deadly Mantis-kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause.
As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands. Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard ... 

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths...And Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass. A mysterious and frightening alchemical metamorphosis has befallen Ida Maclaird - she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure. Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love...What they need most is time - and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass?

Necessary Heartbreak by Michael J. Sullivan

An extraordinary journey back in time shows a struggling single dad that the faith he's lost is still alive - and stronger than ever. . . .Michael Stewart has weathered his share of hardships: a troubled childhood, the loss of his mother, even the degradation of living on the city streets. Now he's raising his teenaged daughter, Elizabeth, on his own and doing the best he can at work and at home. But he's turned his back on his faith - that is, until the morning Michael and Elizabeth volunteer for a food pantry at their local church. While storing boxes in the basement, they step through a mysterious door . . . and find themselves in first-century Jerusalem during the tumultuous last week of Jesus Christ's life. It is a dangerous and violent place, where doing what your heart tells you is right can get you imprisoned - or worse - and they are thankful to take refuge with a kind widow. But when they come face-to-face with Judas Iscariot and the condemned Christ himself, Michael realizes that before they can escape Jerusalem, he must experience history's most necessary and shattering heartbreak - and that pain and loss must happen if Michael is to be set free: to live, love, and reclaim the blessings he has in the present day.

Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Sexy witch Anica Revere has one rule: never under any circumstances get involved with a man before telling him she's a witch. Still, what's one silly rule? Especially when the guy in question is as cute as Jasper Danes. But when Anica and Jasper have a spat, she breaks an ever bigger rule of witchcraft and turns him into a cat. Bad news for him. Worse for her... 


  1. You have so many finds and the Language of Trees sounds great! Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Great finds! Brightly Woven is on my WL!

  3. Wow, so many books I may need extra shelves to add to my TBR list!

  4. My radar picked Language of Trees too! Good finds for you !